Homemade Applesauce

A few weeks ago we took a drive up to my favorite place on earth, the beautiful state of Vermont.  We did all our usual things that we do up there…horseback riding, hiking, taking long luxurious naps with the windows open to let in the sounds of birds chirping and the occasional moo from the neighboring farm.  And because it is Vermont where the seasons start to change early, we also got in a little apple picking.  And where there is apple picking, there is homemade applesauce, which is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and so sweetly delicious.

We started here, at the beautiful Champlain Orchards.  

They have all kinds of apples that come into season one after the other.  Since we were apple-picking on the early side of the season, we got to pick some Paula Reds.

We got to the Paula Red section of the orchard and yep!  Gorgeous ripe apples as far as the eye could see.

I wisely brought an apple picker with me who not only could reach the tall ones, but was willing to carry the peck-sized bag.

Which is a good thing to have, because a peck is a whole lotta apples.  Which is also good, because we needed some for eating the regular way, along with having enough for our applesauce!

So once we got home with our peck of apples, it was time for the applesauce-making.  Now, the single hardest part of making applesauce is the peeling and coring of the apples.  I know, I know, there are those apple-peeling gizmos that you can get that will peel them for you, but in my kitchen it was just me and my paring knife and my Dinner Party Playlist on the Iphone to keep me company. I got into a nice rhythm…quarter the apple, pare out the core, pare off the skin, drop it in a bowl of water.  Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Repeat.

Once you have your apples all peeled and quartered, drop them into a dutch oven with a cup of apple juice or cider, 1/2 cup of sugar, the juice of one lemon and a cinnamon stick.  Stir all that around and bring it to a boil.  Now lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer it for about 30 minutes until the apples are soft and falling apart.

At this point you can either just stir your applesauce vigorously with a wooden spoon (if you like it pretty chunky) or you can mash it with a potato masher (if you like it a little smoother).  Let it cool in the pot, and try the first dish while it is still a little warm.  You’ll be so happy!

Now sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar.  You’ll be even happier!

Your applesauce will last a week or so in the fridge…that is, if it doesn’t get all eaten up in the first hour or so after you make it.  Homemade applesauce is just THAT good.  Give it a try – it’s apple season!

Homemade Applesauce

Serves: 6-8 cups applesauce

  • 3-4 pounds apples
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Juice from one lemon
  • One cinnamon stick
  • Cinnamon sugar for garnish (optional)
  1. Quarter, core and peel apples, dropping the peeled quarters into a bowl of water as you go to prevent too much discoloration.
  2. When all apples are peeled, drain and place in a large Dutch oven with apple juice, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until apples are tender and falling apart. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency and cool.
  4. Serve, garnished with cinnamon sugar if you like!


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  1. Heidi @foodiecrush says:

    Who needs jarred with a winner recipe like this? Nice strategy in bringing you PAP ( personal apple picker.)

  2. For smooth applesauce: I wash the apples and cut them in chunks into a heavy pot with a lid…no peeling, no coring If you like add one tablespoon of “red hot” candies and one quarter cup water or cider to the pot. Put on the lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the eat and simmer for twenty minutes. Use the Foley mill to puree the apples. half hour start to finish. Enjoy.

  3. I absolutely love homemade applesauce! But I’d never heard of Paula Red apples before. O_O You live….and you learn….and you look in your local store to see if you can find some Paula Red apples so that your education can be tastily complete! LOL

  4. Paula Red Apples! That’s a new one for me as I never heard of them before. Learned something new already today. :}
    Love applesauce. Great with pork chops.
    I prepare my sauce in crockpot and just let it cook.

    Oh, what a great apple picker you have there by the way.
    Thanks 4 sharing your recipe. I will have to remember the cinnamon stick the next time I make some :}

  5. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing. Have you ever jarred your apple sauce to stretch out the enjoyment? If so, any special jarring instructions?

    • Hi Joe – no, I’m sorry to say I’ve never gone the canning route…but someday I must figure it out since this applesauce would be such a welcome treat in February!

  6. I have never gotten into canning either, but do you think it would keep well in the freezer?

    • You can definitely freeze it! If you divide it into freezer plastic bags you can defrost a serving or two at a time, too.

  7. I’ve never tried to make applesauce but you’ve made it look so manageable!!! I’m so excited it’s apple season. I can’t wait to try this recipe :)


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